3rd Armored Division (France)

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The 3rd Armored Division (French: 3e Division Blindée, 3e DB) was an armored unit of the French Army. The division was active during World War II. The unit should not be confused with the 3e division cuirassée, a French armored division that saw service in the 1940 campaign.

World War II[edit]


The 3rd Armored Division was formed in Tunisia in June 1943 and moved into Morocco for its first mission. The division didn’t receive its armor until December 1943 and then gradually lost personnel and equipment to the 1st and 5th Armored Divisions. The division was dissolved in August 1944.

Organisation during World War II[edit]

The division was reformed in 1945. The division as a whole did not undertake combat operations, but elements of the division, subordinated to other commands, took part in combat operations on the Western and Atlantic Fronts. The division was dissolved again on 18 April 1946.

Cold War[edit]

The 3rd Infantry Division was reformed in 1951, taking the heritage of the 3rd Algerian Infantry Division, and served throughout the Cold War. In 1957 the 3e DI was transferred to Fribourg-en-Brisgau.[2]

From 1959-66, the division was designated simply the 3e Division. It was a large formation of around 15,000 men covering the south of Germany (Baden-Württemberg) The three brigade were located at:[3]

General Emmanuel Hublot took command of the division in 1964.

It became the 3rd Armored Division in 1978, with its command post staying at Fribourg. The division was made up of three regiments of infantry, two armored regiments, two artillery regiments, an engineer regiment and a Headquarters and Combat Support Regiment. Upon conversion to an armored division, part of the division's subordinate units were transferred to the 5th Armored Division.

The 3rd Armored Division was restructured in 1984 according to revised tables of organization.

In 1989 the 110th Infantry Régiment at Donaueschingen was transferred to the Franco-German Brigade.

It served for a number of years as part of the II Corps, French Forces in Germany. It was finally disbanded by being redesignated the 3rd Mechanised Brigade in 1999.


  1. ^ Sumner and Vauvillier, p. 36
  2. ^ Site de amicale de 3e Regiment des Dragoons
  3. ^ Fr-wiki article on 3rd Mechanised Brigade (France)


  • David Isby and Charles Kamps Jr., Armies of NATO's Central Front, Jane's Publishing Company, 1985. ISBN 0-7106-0341-X
  • Ian Sumner and Charles Vauvillier, The French Army 1939-45 (2), Osprey, 1998. ISBN 1-85532-707-4